Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A Women’s helpline launched by muslim personal law.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has, for the first time, decided to form a women’s wing to expand social reform activities among Muslim women. The Board has also decided to launch an all-India Muslim women helpline to provide guidance to them on family issues. A toll-free call centre in Urdu, English and eight other regional languages will be set up.

The women’s wing would also deal with issues such as family disputes and education.

Taking a historic decision, the board has formed a women’s wing. "Social reform activities among women will be expanded across the country through this wing,” Kamal Farooqui, member of the personal law board’s executive committee, said during a press conference.

The resolution passed at the AIMPB’s three-day convention, stated that the government was infringing into the personal laws of Muslims. The women’s wing would also deal with other issues like family disputes and education, AIMPLB secretary Zafaryab Jellani told a press conference .
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HYDERABAD: The AIMPLB has launched a helpline for women, which will provide information on various aspects of Islamic law. The knowledge shared during the call will help in empowering them, said board officials. The AIMPLB has launched a helpline for women, which will provide information on various aspects of Islamic law. The knowledge shared during the call will help in empowering them, said board officials.  The AIMPLB has launched a helpline for women, which will provide information on various aspects of Islamic law. The knowledge shared during the call will help in empowering them, said board officials.

 With several petitions having been filed against triple talaq, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) had launched a helpline for women in November last year in what the board said was a move to empower Muslim women. This was after they had supported triple talaq.

Member of the women’s wing of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Asma Zehra  said that Prime Minister’s comments against triple talaq and implementation of a uniform civil code had acted as a blessing in disguise for Muslim women.

“About 10 crore women, across the country, through a signature campaign had expressed their support for the Muslim Personal Law and had also said that they knew that the attempt to implement a uniform civil code was a tool to interfere with the Muslim Personal Law which is our constitutional right,” Zehra said. She added that Modi’s attempt had helped lakhs of Muslim women to be aware of the rules of ‘talaq’ and their rights during separation.

Content Writer: Jatin Arora

HYDERABAD: The AIMPLB has launched a helpline for women, which will provide information on various aspects of Islamic law. The knowledge shared during the call will help in empowering them, said board officials.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Privilege vs Necessity


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I shift uncomfortably as a mass of sweaty bodies is pushed against me. There is a constant struggle to find some open space to stand in while being engulfed in the stench of the hot summer and perspiration. I’m dressed comfortably and appropriately but I can sense the hard gaze and stare of many men that are in my compartment, making me instantly feel anxious and embarrassed. Several men thrust against me as the metro comes to a grinding halt making a strangers hand push against my thigh. I feel an unsolicited hand on my shoulder as I get pushed aside from the exodus that occurs when the metro doors open to let out passengers at the station.

 Every woman who has travelled the metro has at some point faced this issue. They have felt the anxiety, nervousness and unease that comes with travelling in the normal compartment of any metro, a feeling that most men are completely unaware of. To those men, I would like to simply explain that the separate compartment for women that’s labelled in most metros is not in fact a privilege that we have obtained over time through unfair means but a necessity for the safety and the preservation of fundamental human rights.

The “privilege” that women have obtained over time of having separate coaches, rooms, seats in public positions, reservations in institutions has not arisen due to the need for unequal treatment or as an action to commemorate the superiority of women. It has risen since in a normal situation women were either mistreated in some cases or in others underrepresented. After repeated cases of harassment, theft, and assault women were finally given separate compartments in the metro so that they could feel safe and secure with the company of other women. Ever since the implementation of the separate coaches, there have been fewer reports of harassments and unsolicited advances towards women in metros. A majority of women also prefer to travel in the women’s compartment as it provides them more personal and physical spaces and is a comparatively less hostile and more inclusive environment as they are in the company of other women.
Content Writer: Aanchal Thakur

Marriage v/s Career: Women’s Dilemma

Looking through the past, marriage has always been the ultimate dream of any Indian woman. Attaining your own goals was always sacrificed for fulfilling your family’s wish of getting married to a man that according to them is perfect for you. Has the progression in our thinking and the overall growth of the society as a whole changed woman’s perspective over marriage? Is this preconceived and prejudiced notion applicable to every woman? These questions can be answered in multiple ways.
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A woman who belongs to the contemporary culture have to focus on a professional life which enables them freedom from marriage constrains and gives them an overall choice over this matter. This aspect of their lives does get affected after marriage. There are number of problems faced by married women in professional workplaces. The most common of them all is the lack of support or understanding being provided to these married women.

Support in terms of helping them out with household chores or just basic help necessary for women to contribute towards managing their families.  Career and family goals in most cases are completely diverse.  Trying to achieve both of them is an immensely demanding task that millions of married women face throughout their married life.

Is there any respite provided to such women by the management? Looking over at things like ‘Marriage Bar’ which restricts employment of married women in general or in a particular profession while having no economic or social justification, there seems to a negligence being shown by the authoritative body.

Setting priorities seems to be another issue being faced by married women. Some women may get married at the beginning of their professional careers or some would at the peak of their careers. Striking a balance between professional and personal life is always a concern.

Looking over at the general consensus which fortunately seems to be changing, women have always been looked upon as the one who have to take care of the kids and just manage the household. Thus seeing women work was always treated with the wrong attitude. One of the reasons for a positive change in the attitude of the society as a whole has to be the financial pressure faced by the middle class families where nowadays both the adults in the family working is seen as a good thing.
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A lot of women give up their jobs after child birth, which eventually leads to a downfall of their career in the long run. Here, the choice of women comes into the question. Whether she is willing to place her career over her family at the beginning of her professional life depends on the goals of one’s life.

To answer the ensuing question whether marriage is the ultimate destination of a women’s life, we have to downright look at the way a particular woman wants to live her life. Giving her freedom of choice, which incidentally is a constitutional right of every citizen of this diverse country, is the first and foremost objective. Whether she wants to get married and focus on her family is ultimately upon her.  Pressurizing a woman over such decisions never yields good results and destroys more than one valuable life.

 Content Writer: Saksham Diwan

THE MODERN INDIAN WOMAN



The sari is hung neatly next to the pantsuit in the closet that’s filled with suits, dresses, and various traditional attires. The modern Indian woman or girl is no longer a symbol of a damsel in distress but a femme fatale. She is a decision maker, a fabricator of her own destiny and direction of life. The modern girl in India is no longer oppressed under the tyranny of the patriarchal regime unable to decide what she wants, or unaware of the rights bestowed to her. Although many of the barriers that women had to face previously that stopped them from attaining certain goals or positions still exist, there is a greater level of awareness about these barriers and how to avoid them. Women are known to be good multitaskers, from those who balance both their housework to office life and those that juggle between multiple jobs, women have been known to do it all. 


Women have radicalized the new age by progressing in all forums and fields like technology, education, human rights, law, medicine etc. Women have been a pivotal aspect of the changes that have occurred in India in the last century and more and have been ardent supporters of giving more rights and education to other women who have not been as privileged.  The modern girl in India is a force to be reckoned with. She is prevalent on social media, is smart, hardworking and knows what she deserves and wants. No longer are we in a period where we will allow men to take away the rights that women are deserving of.
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The modern girl in India can be found in any corner of the country, from a chawl in the crowded city of Mumbai, to the open seaside in Goa or in an apartment in Delhi. Fundamental changes have been brought in the way that women function in modern times, women have learnt how to work in male dominated settings and how to achieve high posts and reach their goals. Girls are not afraid to go out at night, or drink in front of their male coworkers. They have learnt to dress how they please in public irrespective of what others think, to post what they like, to express their views and feelings openly in a public forum. The modern Indian women has a voice, and she is not afraid to use it.
Content Writer: Aanchal Thakur

Saturday, 11 February 2017

7 MYTHS ABOUT WORKING WOMEN


Working women are often faced with a lot of prejudice and unequal treatment in the workplace. There are numerous barriers to gender equity in most organizations all over the world. Myths are often created about women in the workplace, their critical skills and their priorities. Women are often judged for choosing their ambition and career over more traditional choices like living a domestic life or managing the family. Here are some myths about working women.
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1.    Women prioritize family and marriage before their jobs which require total commitment.

a.    Women that manage families often have two jobs, that of a homemaker as well as a career woman. This is often used as an excuse to not hire women or to not give promotions as they believe managing a family hampers the work life and output that women produce in office. This myth is not true for the women who are career oriented and prioritize their careers as well as the fact that many women can give close to equal effort and attention to both their homes and their work and it should not be a reason to increase gender inequity.

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2.    Career women will become old maids

a.    There is a fear that has been perpetuated by society for generations that says that women who postpone their marriage to focus on their careers will end up old and alone. In the United States an article in 1986 asserted that a woman who hit the age of 40 without marrying has a better chance of being killed by a terrorist than by having a wedding. This was proven wrong as by 2012, more than 93% of those women were married according to the U.S. Census.

3.    No girls allowed, business is for boys

a.    There is an enforced stereotype in society that associates men as businessmen and women staying at home. The CEO is Palo Alto stated in an article once about having to deal with male colleagues who feel pride in not leaving their kids with a nanny unlike some of their female colleagues without realizing the sacrifice women, especially their wives are making in their careers just so they can feel that way. The bigger picture in that story was that the men accepted her in the meeting as “one of the boys” and did not discriminate her on her work basis which means that they myth is debunked.

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4.    Working women neglect their families

a.    Many believe that women who work can’t possibly be good mothers or spouses as they cannot effectively contribute the same amount of effort and energy into both jobs. Its propagating the concept of “women can’t have it all” but women have repeatedly over generations and generations debunked that myth and proven that being ambitious and having a career has not been a barrier in being a good parent or a family member and it increases the overall lifestyle of the family if there is more than one parent earning.

5.    Women are bad at math

a.    There is a belief about men being more analytical and mathematically advanced than women while women are better in linguistic and written tasks. This myth is surrounded by the fact that women cannot do as work in business or finance and statistics as men can. There is a surfeit of women who have proven that this myth is false including Danika McKeller who was in the famous Wonder Years. She graduated summa cum laude from UCLA and moved to write math books like “Math doesn’t suck” and became an accomplished mathematician.
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6.    Women can’t be leaders like men

a.    Research shows that the concept of merit is very subjective as well as prone to a lot of bias from different areas. Statistically it has been proven that women tend to show stronger leadership skills on all fronts. Men tend to rate the performance of other men highly. 45% of mid-level women in Asia felt that rising to a senior management position is very important to them. People usually perceive women who are in leadership positions as bossy and aggressive while men are looked up to as being assertive and confident.

7.    Women are too emotional

a.    The office is known as a place where formality is key, means maintaining boundaries at all times and being calm and composed is crucial to being successful. Women are looked at as being emotional and vulnerable creatures that will most likely let their emotions make a lot of decisions instead of thinking about situations logically which will hamper progress of the firm in totality. There is also the bias that women are sensitive and thus they will be affected easily in adversity and won’t know how to handle tough situations. This myth has been proven to be wrong as most women know how to act appropriately at work and sensitivity is subject to different personality and should not be associated to one gender.


Content Writer: Aanchal Thakur

Subtle Sexism In Patriarchial Societies- Identify it and stop it!


Sexism is a word most people avoid, it is common knowledge in today’s world that sexism is not something one should indulge in but it continues to exist in a nuanced form and packaged form even today. Subtle sexism still exists in ever nook and cranny of the society, it finds it’s way into our conversations and the content we produce and propagate. Most of the times it goes unnoticed, sexism and discrimination is rooted very deeply in our heads since we were kids.


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We see a lot of popular comedians taking up the issue of sexism and making jokes about it. Most memes on the internet too are centred around women and feminism. These jokes look harmless but contribute to the woman-hating culture of violence. Most commonly, go-make-a-sandwich jokes and jokes against women drivers are considered perfectly normal and common however, they are very sexist in nature and establish the fact that both men and women are only meant for certain specific activities. Moral policing of women in temples, colleges and workplaces is also fairly common and the fact that there are lesser rules for men is disturbing and discriminatory. Hostels rules and curfews also only seem to be applicable to female students. The recent VIT hostel rules asking girls only to wear sleeved clothes and Indian formal wear are preposterous and unfair, the fact that the hostel wardens are making these decisions on their own accord and enforcing them is worse. In another recent article, the principal of Mumbai-based Government Polytechnic college, claimed that PCOD and a reduced desire to have babies may be caused by women thinking like men and wearing pants. These comments only come up because we allow the propagation and normalisation of sexism in the society without even realising it.




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Women also face a lot of sexism at their workplace. Workplaces usually have a very strict dress code in place. Women are also mostly assigned administrative duties inspite of being in high posts. Bosses too sometimes end up asking their female subordinates to fetch coffee and do these tasks because of set gender criteria in their head. Moreover, in a bid to keep themselves safe, women end up losing out on opportunities which may involve late night shifts.

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Most of these criterions and do’s and don’ts find their way into a child’s life right from the beginning. Boy’s rooms and items are supposed to be blue in colour and girls are supposed to have pink rooms and clothes. Boys are expected to be violent and tough, boys are not supposed to play with girly things, girls are expected to be more interested in playing with dolls and learn how to cook so that it helps them in the future. Girls end up looking at these dolls as the ideal woman hereby buying into society’s standards for women which build their insecurities and make them believe they are not good enough. Moreover, girls are always asked not to use crass language as that doesn't suit them. Girls are asked to sit properly because sitting with their legs parted is manly and invites trouble. When they start seeing people, girls are told that if a guy is being mean to them, he likes her. When this seed is sown in their heads, they end up staying in abusive relationships where they are not respected. Most expletive too insinuate women and are directed towards one's mother or sister.



This discrimination and sexism is not just limited to women and hurts men as well. Boys are expected to be masculine and tough. Boys are expected to hide their feelings and emotions, if they cry they are weak because that’s what girls do. Effeminate men are labelled as homosexuals or transsexuals. Moreover, men who wish to pursue professions that were traditionally segregated and performed by women are discouraged and are asked to do something manly.




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Sexism is also subtly promoted by pop culture - mainly films, TV shows, books and art works. Art should promote feminism instead of reinforcing sexism and gender disparity. Bollywood especially needs to eliminate the justification of stalking culture and eliminate it in their films and songs. Marketing companies too feed on people’s insecurities in order to market their products and services. Girls and boys are made to feel like they are not good enough externally and need particular products to be better. Advertisements too heavily objectify women.



We see how sexism is something which troubles both men and women hence we should work hard and weed every bit of sexism and discrimination out of our system and society. People need to collectively work on this and understand that doing away with sexism only makes way for a fairer and a better society. If people are happy, the country would also do well economically. Due to it’s deep rooted existence, men and women need to continuously fight this phenomenon at various grounds. We need to mobilise ourselves and stop this in order to make this world a better place. We must learn to identify and call out this subtle sexism and put a stop to it.

Content Writer: Anuckriti Garg 

Valentine’s Day: A Day of repentance?

14th February, the date which is more commonly known as Valentine’s Day is imminent. The week when flowers and chocolates are suddenly sold at 10x their actual price or the week when ‘love’ is supposed to be everyone’s favorite term is upon us.

But it’s not all just roses and sunshine; looking into it from a neutral perspective; we may find out the actual cost that women have to pay for the day which has some sketchy Roman origins.

An increase in cases of woman harassment is a common occurrence during the month of February. Valentine’s Day can be seen as a prime opportunity to break sexual harassment laws and needs to be looked upon by the government.
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A study was recently conducted regarding the Valentine’s Day celebrations in different cities corresponding level of safety in these cities in India.  Cities like the City of Agra, Pune, and Jammu etc. were included. There was a small correlation between lack of safety and the level of celebrations being conducted in a city.
Another aspect involving women safety has to be the religious beliefs and backward thinking amongst the various spiritual groups of our country. Some places have experienced protests from different political parties or women have been harassed for trying to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Its one thing to argue women’s safety on such occasions but it’s completely wrong to prevent them freedom of choice or to force women to behave in a specific and ancient manner.

Valentine’s Day means sharing cards and flowers amongst your loved ones. This whole month has a huge effect on the families of women employees who have to work extra-time just to ensure that every order for flowers is met. An example of city of Facatativ√° in Colombia sheds some light on this issue.

Colombia is the world’s second largest flower exporter and the Valentine’s Day has an effect on the lives of the huge woman workforce of the country. This is not just applicable to Colombia but is an example of how women employees are treated in our country.
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Valentine’s Day is still a symbol of happiness and love and cannot be completely abolished but steps can be taken to ensure women safety by the government and the people.

Specific laws are one way of solving this issue. Stricter sexual harassment laws, police protection at common places for valentine’s celebrations and ensuring that people are well informed on how to respect women’s privacy can be considered as a good start towards making Valentine’s Day as a day of  love and not a day of remorse.
Content Writer: Saksham Diwan